nice·​ty | \ ˈnī-sə-tē How to pronounce nicety (audio) , -stē\
plural niceties

Definition of nicety

1 : the quality or state of being nice
2 : an elegant, delicate, or civilized feature enjoy the niceties of life
3 : a fine point or distinction : subtlety the niceties of table manners
4 : careful attention to details : delicate exactness : precision
5 : delicacy of taste or feeling : fastidiousness
to a nicety
: exactly, accurately … liked doing a quiet business in which they were sure of their customers, and could calculate their returns to a nicety.— George Eliot

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Examples of nicety in a Sentence

knows all the niceties of diplomatic protocol a woman too fond of the niceties of urban living to even consider becoming a farmer's wife

Recent Examples on the Web

The first companies or nations that land on these peaks, regardless of the legal niceties, will de facto have ownership. Adam Mann, Scientific American, "The New Scramble for the Moon," 26 June 2019 On one level, Trump's brash lobbying in foreign countries is just another case of norm-busting for a president who often rejects the niceties of both domestic and international politics. NBC News, "Trump normalizes foreign election intervention ahead of 2020," 3 June 2019 According to The Sun, Meghan and Prince Harry exchanged niceties with the King during their visit. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Curtsied to King Mohammed VI During Her and Prince Harry's Trip to Morocco," 26 Feb. 2019 But Riverdale feels more like a (highly entertaining) primetime soap opera, whereas Sabrina embraces full-blown horror without bowing to the niceties imposed by network television. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," 18 Dec. 2018 Finally, the crew-cab-only Ram Laramie Longhorn at $53,035 and the Limited at $55,535 both include standard niceties such as heated and reclining rear seats, a heated steering wheel, woodgrain interior trim, and a navigation system. Greg Fink, Car and Driver, "Ram Jam: 2019 Ram 1500 Pickup Starts at $33,340," 6 Mar. 2018 At the same time, Qualcomm is promising more of its traditional strength: an incredible 25 hours of battery life, plus support for niceties like LPDDR4X memory, NVMe SSDs, USB 3.1, and four PCI Express lanes. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx for PCs aims to overcome the performance gap," 6 Dec. 2018 Gifted niceties such as ice buckets and cheese spreaders found new homes. Bonnie S. Benwick, The Seattle Times, "Kitchen confidential: How I downsized the most important room in the house," 24 Sep. 2018 The legal niceties apart, central bankers are ill-equipped to choose inflation targets. Amar Bhidé, WSJ, "Congress Should Set the Fed’s Inflation Target—Ideally at Zero," 6 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nicety.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nicety

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nicety

Middle English nicete, from Anglo-French niceté foolishness, from nice, adjective

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Dictionary Entries near nicety



nice try





Statistics for nicety

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for nicety

The first known use of nicety was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for nicety



English Language Learners Definition of nicety

: a small detail and especially one that is a part of polite or proper behavior


ni·​ce·​ty | \ ˈnī-sə-tē How to pronounce nicety (audio) \
plural niceties

Kids Definition of nicety

1 : something dainty, delicate, or of especially good quality
2 : a fine detail that is considered part of polite or proper behavior Grandma taught me the niceties of setting a table.

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More from Merriam-Webster on nicety

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nicety

Spanish Central: Translation of nicety

Nglish: Translation of nicety for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nicety for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nicety

What made you want to look up nicety? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a small bunch of flowers

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